This should be interesting. Academy Award-nominated actress Viola Davis is reportedly in talks to star in a biopicture on the late and iconic Barbara Jordan, who rose from poverty to become the first Black woman elected to Congress from the South. Jordan was also lesbian.
The film would be based on Mary Beth Rogers' 2000 biography Barbara Jordan: American Hero. Davis would star in the film and act as a producing partner with her husband, reports IndieWire. Paris Barclay will direct from a script adapted by Emmy-nominated writer Paris Qualles
Jordan was the first African American to serve in the Texas Senate since Reconstruction, the first black woman elected to Congress from the South, and the first to deliver the keynote address at a national party convention.
But, given how private a life she led, Jordan was considered something of a mystery, even to her close friends–friends who didn’t know about the illness that would eventually kill her at just 59 years old…. And while she never publicly discussed her sexual orientation (not that she had to), Jordan’s obituary mentioned her long-term (30-year) relationship with Nancy Earl, an educational psychologist.
The award-winning director Paris Barclay is also Black and gay. Barclay tells Variety the project has been in development for "a few years." "We’re hoping this becomes a movie that shows the world everything that Viola can do," says Barclay. "People haven’t seen everything that she’s capable of and this role is so powerful."
Lyndon B. Johnson was an early supporter of Jordan and later became a mentor. In 1974, Jordan delivered an influential and live televised speech before the House Judiciary Committee that supported the impeachment of Richard Nixon.
Jordan died in 1996. Ten years later, the Jordan/Rustin Coalition was founded in California in her namesake and that of Bayard Rustin. JRC organizes and mobilizes the Black LGBT community around Los Angeles.